All Aboard The Ship

James Hughes is the head chef at The Ship Hotel in Brancaster. Picture: Ian Burt

James Hughes is the head chef at The Ship Hotel in Brancaster. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

James Hughes might be just 19 and already head chef at Brancaster’s Ship Hotel, but he bring years of experience and enthusiasm

Why did you choose to become a chef?

I think it started at home, cooking with my dad and grandparents from an early age, leading me to realise how rewarding it is to cook for yourself and others.

Where did you train?

The Orange Tree in Thornham.

What is your earliest food-related memory?

Cooking bread with my grandparents when I was four.

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What is the strangest thing you have eaten?

Sea urchin would have to be the one. So far!

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Being promoted to head chef at The Ship at the age of 19.

What do you enjoy most about working at The Ship Hotel?

How everyone there works as a team, there’s none of the “us and them” you often find in this industry. Everyone is there to work hard and help each other.

What would you say is special about your menu?

Everything evolves with the seasons and the inspiration I have at the time.

What is your favourite local ingredient?

The local fruit and veg. It’s impossible to narrow it down to one.

Are there any foods you can’t stand?

Can’t stand is quite strong, I appreciate all foods, however if it had to be any, I’d say processed foods.

Have you had any cooking disasters?

Nothing on the professional side of things. However I’m sure my friends and family could think of a few!

What would your last supper consist of?

Homemade chicken pie.

Do you cook for friends and family too?

As much as possible; I love eating with my family and I love the satisfaction I get from cooking a good meal for them. w

The Ship Hotel, Main Road, Brancaster, PE31 8AP; 01485 210333;

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